Flamingo Land, Loch Lomond, The Tories & Scarborough Borough Council

Map of Development Location

There has been a lot of controversy on Social Media in the last few days after Flamingo Land Limited submitted a Planning Permission in Principle (PPiP) application for a resort complex at West Riverside and Woodbank in Balloch on the shores of Loch Lomond.

While Flamingo Land is best known for its Theme Park and Zoo in North Yorkshire, the company stresses that its Loch Lomond venture would be more akin to something like a Centreparcs site with lodges, a boutique hotel, hostel and glamping pods together with a range of family-based attractions (including an indoor water park) and restaurants.

Ariel View of Development Site.

The project is a joint initiative between Flamingo Land and Scottish Enterprise which has owned the land since 1989.

Flamingo Land Limited was established in 1973 and has its registered office in Glasgow. The company is owned and controlled by the Gibb family. The current Chief Executive of the company, Gordon Gibb, was born in Strathaven.

Since this is a political blog I’ll move on to the main point of this article.

Between 2014 and 2017 Flamingo Land Limited has donated £75,000 cash and £8,500 in auction prizes to the Tories. In addition Mr Gibbs has personally donated £87,500 to them over the same time period.

Now you are probably wondering why I included Scarborough Borough Council in this article’s title.

Well in 2014 this Conservative controlled council announced that Flamingo Land was to be the preferred bidder for a project to redevelop land  on the town’s sea-front occupied by the closed Futurist Theatre.

The company’s plan was to demolish the theatre and build a £20million indoor theme park on the site. As with the Loch Lomond project much controversy ensued. Eventually in January 2017 the council voted on whether to allow the demolition to go ahead. The vote was passed with these results:

  • Conservatives – For: 19 Against: 2
  • Labour –  For: 1 Against: 11
  • Independent – For: 2 Against: 1
  • UKIP – For: 0 Against: 5
  • Greens – For: 0 Against 2
  • Total – For: 22 Against: 21 

Make of that what you will dear reader.

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